House of Cards
After an impressive first season, the new series of House of Cards is out to reach even greater heights.
speaks with writer Beau Willimon. Have you looked at To much a secondary role. And Play the King and The I wanted there to be two Final Cut, the two sequels stars on our show. to the original BBC House of Cards miniseries, as influences? That’s a sneaky way of trying to get me to talk about season two. Obviously, I’ve watched the BBC version, but to what degree it influences our storytelling is not something I’m going to talk about.
Can’t blame me for trying. OK, let’s talk about what you wanted to express with House of Cards when you came on board. Our first season had more hours than all three of the BBC series combined, so of course we were going to have to broaden the world and introduce more characters.
The first thing I said to David Fincher was I didn’t want to do an adaptation. My goal was not to translate this to American audiences; it was to use it as a springboard for investigating power in myriad ways.
I also told him I didn’t want to do a show about politics. I wanted to do a show about power.
Another thing I said to Fincher was I wanted to do a story about a marriage. As much as I love the BBC version, the wife is very Did you draw inspiration from any actual or fictional people in shaping Francis Underwood? There were a lot of different inspirations, some political and some not. You can think about people who have felt the need to conquer, to dominate – everyone from Napoleon to Rupert Murdoch. In your work, there seems to be a view of politics and power that is more pragmatic than idealistic. Do you see it that way? A lot of people will look at Ides of March or House of Cards and think I’m a cynic. But I see a rigid ideology to be among the most cynical things one can engage in. It prevents any form of compromise or attempt to understand world views that may be different from your own. To me, that’s cynicism.
I’m actually an optimist and I think Francis Underwood is a deeply optimistic person. In his world view, he wants to get things done. House of Cards , Showcase, Saturday, 8.30pm